Cincinnati Bell and CWA Reach Tentative Agreement on New Contract
CINCINNATI--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 10, 2005--In marathon negotiations that lasted throughout Monday night until early Tuesday morning, Cincinnati Bell Inc. (NYSE:CBB) and the Communications Workers of America (CWA) and its Locals 4400 and 4401 reached a tentative agreement on a new three-year labor contract at approximately 3:00 a.m. Tuesday, May 10, 2005.
The negotiated three-year agreement, which extends through May 10, 2008, replaces the current three-year agreement that expired at 11:59 p.m. on Saturday, May 7.
"The challenge is achieving the right balance in addressing the growing competitive pressures we face in the marketplace, while also appropriately recognizing and rewarding our employees for their contributions to the company's success," said Jack Cassidy, president and chief executive officer of Cincinnati Bell. "This agreement is a demonstration of the durability of our longstanding cooperative relationship with the CWA."
The new contract results in basic wage increases, improvements to the existing healthcare plan and an agreement to explore potential future job opportunities within evolving markets.
"We are pleased to have achieved a way to address these very difficult issues," said Jeff Rechenbach, vice president of CWA District 4.
"These were difficult negotiations, but we were able to arrive at a contract that is good for our members. I am confident that it will be ratified."
Highlights of the new contract include: -- Increases in wages of 7.5 percent compounded over the life of the agreement. The increases consist of a 1.75 percent increase in base pay effective immediately, a 2.75 percent increase in base pay effective May 14, 2006 and a 3.0 percent increase in base pay effective May 13, 2007. -- A ten percent increase in employee pensions and other improvements. -- Changes to employee health care plans include improvements to dental care and a new hearing benefit. The plans vary in coverage levels and monthly premium amounts. No increases in health care premiums will be made through 2006. -- Employment security improvements including language on contractors and new work in emerging markets. -- Improvements to bereavement leave and termination pay. -- Establishes a new health reimbursement account plan for future retirees.
"I want to thank CWA members for their support," said CWA Local 4400 president Tim Donoghue. "This agreement addresses many of the concerns our members expressed in their bargaining surveys."
CWA Local 4401 president Edwina Davis said, "I'm proud of the way our members joined together to help move negotiations forward. Their support made all the difference."
A detailed summary of the new agreement will be sent to each employee and details will be posted on the CWA's website in the coming days.
CWA members of Locals 4400 and 4401 will vote to approve this agreement. Ratification is expected sometime in June and will be by mail ballot.
About Cincinnati Bell Inc.
Cincinnati Bell Inc. (NYSE:CBB) is parent to one of the nation's most respected and best performing local exchange and wireless providers with a legacy of unparalleled customer service excellence. Cincinnati Bell provides a wide range of telecommunications products and services to residential and business customers in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana. Cincinnati Bell is headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio. For more information, visit www.cincinnatibell.com.
Safe Harbor Note
Certain of the statements and predictions contained in this release constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act. In particular, statements, projections or estimates that include or reference the words "believes," "anticipates," "plans," "intends," "expects," "will," or any similar expression fall within the safe harbor for forward-looking statements contained in the Reform Act. Actual results or outcomes may differ materially from those indicated or suggested by any such forward-looking statement for a variety of reasons, including, but not limited to: Cincinnati Bell's ability to maintain its market position in communications services, including wireless, wireline and internet services; general economic trends affecting the purchase or supply of telecommunication services; world and national events that may affect the ability to provide services; changes in the regulatory environment; any rulings, orders or decrees that may be issued by any court or arbitrator; restrictions imposed under various credit facilities and debt instruments; work stoppages caused by labor disputes; adjustments resulting from year-end audit procedures; and Cincinnati Bell's ability to develop and launch new products and services. More information on potential risks and uncertainties is available in recent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including Cincinnati Bell's Form 10-K report, Form 10-Q reports and Forms 8-K. The forward-looking statements included in this release represent company estimates as of May 10, 2005. Cincinnati Bell anticipates that subsequent events and developments will cause its estimates to change.
CONTACT: Cincinnati Bell Jenifer L. Kues, 513-397-7244 firstname.lastname@example.org or CWA Seth Rosen, 440-333-6363 email@example.com SOURCE: Cincinnati Bell